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Jul 5, 2013 08:33 PM

Risotto without chicken stock?

I'm going to attempt my first hand at risotto sometime this week, but I really, really don't want to make chicken stock (or any stock) and I can't buy it where I live. Is it possible to make good risotto without chicken stock? Thanks

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  1. I think you need stock, personally. Even if you throw together a quick vegetable stock, it's worth the time and effort considering risotto is all about the loose texture.

    1. Make a quick stock with a couple (2 or 3, the more the marrier really) leeks (cleaned), use the whole thing, it will all be strained anyway. 1 head of garlic cut in half, a good knob of butter and big pinch of salt). simmer 30-45 minutes. strain and save.

      I really is easy and lends a nice background note to what ever flavors you want to add. Personally I would not go with straight water, myself. Oh and make this a day or two ahead to make your life easier.

      Good luck and good cooking

      1 Reply
      1. re: AAQjr

        i'd also add a couple carrots, bay, thyme and peppercorns.

        rice and water makes a bland finished product, no matter how much salt you add in.

        it's a lot of effort to make risotto and you're kinda shooting yourself in the foot starting out with lackluster liquid.

      2. As goes your stock, so goes your risotto. It's literally the most important factor.

        1 Reply
        1. Not sure if it's more readily available to you, but I've made (quite good) risotto using dashi. Served it with scallops.

          You don't HAVE to use 'stock' - technically you can make risotto with hot water. But using a liquid that's flavorful (and savory) is pretty important to get the overall effect right. The quality and flavor of the liquid is pretty central to the quality and flavor of the finished risotto.

          3 Replies
              1. re: cowboyardee

                ok, phew. lol. i love dashi and need to use it more. thanks!

          1. Absolutely.

            In certain ways, risotto without "stock" provides a more elemental dimension for the senses. You actually get to savor the subtle earthy sweetness of the rice.

            Here's a good example: